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ISSN 0040-6406 

Number 247 Spring 2004 

A "New" Thoreau Letter from 1851 

Ronald Wesley Hoag 

Happily, the number of accounted for and accessible 
letters written by Henry Thoreau in 1851 has 
doubled. Not so happily, that' means just two letters 
have now been recovered from that year. 1 While I'd like to 
report that I turned up the second 1851 Thoreau letter 
through dedicated research and the kind of spooky good luck 
that Huck Finn might attribute to "preforeordestination" (see, 
for example, Bradley P. Dean's "Thoreau Letter Discovered 
in Library Book" in the last Thoreau Society Bulletin), the 
present case is less dramatic though arguably not less 
significant. In June of 1996 I simply purchased from a rare- 
book dealer a manuscript letter from Henry Thoreau to the 
Harvard University librarian, Dr. Thaddeus W. Harris. 2 (An 
excellent likeness of Harris accompanied Dean's article.) 
Thoreau 's message is written in black ink on a time-browned 
sheet of cream-colored wove paper that is not mechanically 
lined. This thin, stationery-sized sheet (19.2 x 12.2 cm) has a 
jagged left margin perhaps related to its being tipped into a 
copy of Odell Shepard's The Heart of Thoreau s Journals 
(1927). The book is signed by its original owner — "Homer 
G. Curless, Burlington, 1928" — whose many marginal 
comments reflect a close and favorable reading. He, 
presumably, added the letter to Shepard's volume, from 
which it had been removed before my purchase. 

The letter sheet was once folded in thirds, as was 
Thoreau's common practice in folding letters, and then, 
apparently, opened and refolded in quarters, likely by 
Thoreau's bearer or Thaddeus Harris himself. With line 
breaks preserved, this is the two-sentence text: 
Concord Ap. 29 th 1851 

Dear Sir, 

I return, herewith, 

Young's Chronicles of the 

Pilgrims — Hawkins's 

Quebec — & Silliman's 

Tour of Quebec. 

Will you please send 

me by the bearer — the 

2 nd & 3 d vols of the Forest 

Trees of North America, 

by F. Andrew Michaux, — of 

which I have already had 

the 1 st vol — also 

Bigelow's Medical Botany. 
Yrs respectfully 
Henry D. Thoreau. 
Although the "Dear Sir" of the salutation is not 
identified in the letter, he is clearly Thaddeus William Harris 
(1795-1856), the librarian at Harvard University from 1831 
till his death, including Thoreau's years as a Harvard student 
from 1833 to 1837. Indeed, Harris, who graduated from 
Harvard in 1815 and earned his M.D. degree, there in 1820, 
taught natural history to Thoreau late in his senior year, a 
one-term course that was, according to Robert Sattelmeyer, 
"[Thoreau's] only formal course work bearing upon his later 
avocation as a naturalist." 3 Harris also contributed the 
section on "Insects Injurious to Vegetation" to the 1841 state 
report reviewed by Thoreau in his 1 842 Dial essay the 
"Natural History of Massachusetts." 

By April of 1851 Thoreau had known Harris for more 
than 1 5 years and had conferred with him on matters of 
natural history and the early European presence in North 
America. One such conversation, concerning books on 
flowers, is mentioned by Thoreau in his journal entry for 6 
February 1852, where he refers to Harris as a "learned & 
accurate naturalist" and "the courteous guardian of a public 
library." And on 1 January 1853 he noted in his journal the 
remark, recently passed along to him, that Louis Agassiz 
considered Harris "the greatest entomologist in the world" 
and had given permission to quote his opinion. Thoreau 
records this tribute without demurral. 

Judging from the number of surviving letters, Thaddeus 
Harris was in fact one of Thoreau's more frequent 
correspondents, although the nature of their letter writing 
was generally perfunctory and pertained to Harris's position 
as "courteous guardian" of the books Thoreau wanted to 


Obscure Film Recalls Thoreau 

Craze of Thirty Years Ago 3 

Raising Thoreau's House Beams 5 

Thoreau First Day Covers 5 

The Thoreau Society's John Brown Weekend 7 

John Caffrey: A Brief Profile 8 

Notes & Queries 9 

Additions to the Thoreau Bibliography 13 

Announcements 15 

Calendar of Events 15 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

borrow or return. 4 The Correspondence of Henry David 
Thoreau (1958), edited by Walter Harding and Carl Bode, 
contains five letters from Thoreau to Harris ( 1 February 
1851, 1 March 1854, 18 April 1854, 15 November 1854, 27 
February 1855), and one letter from Harris to Thoreau (27 
June 1854) in response to a sixth letter from Thoreau — "Your 
letter of the 25 th " — that has not been recovered (329). 
(Another letter by Thoreau [17 August 1857 to Marston 
Watson] cites Harris's comments to him on glowworms 
" 'nearly as big as your little finger' " [488].) To that list we 
may now add Thoreau's 27 December 1850 letter to Harris, 
published by Bradley P. Dean in Thoreau Society Bulletin 
(No. 246, Winter 2004), and his 29 
April 1851 letter transcribed above. 
Interestingly, both of the recovered 
1851 letters by Thoreau were 
directed to Harris. 

These extant or cited letters 
raise the question of just how 
extensive the Thoreau-Harris 
correspondence was. Are these 
essentially the whole iceberg or just 
the tip? We know from Robert 
Sattelmeyer's Thoreau's Reading 
catalogue that Thoreau borrowed 
many books over many years from 
Harvard Library. And we know 
also that Thoreau occasionally used 
various neighbors and associates as 
"gophers" to transact his Harvard 
Library business, among them 
Charles Pickering Gerrish at least 
twice (March and April 1854), 
[Barzillai?] Frost at least once 
(February 1855), and unidentified 
"bearers" on at least four other 
occasions (December 1850; 
February 1851; that of the subject 
letter, 29 April 1851; and 27 June 
1854). It's interesting to speculate 
on how many other library runs were conducted by 
Thoreau's agents, presumably armed with written messages 
that would make the complete Thoreau-to-Harris letters even 
heftier and more significant. 

The present case, Thoreau's 29 April 1 85 1 letter to 
Harris, is both accounted for and accountable, beyond the 
unresolved identity of its "bearer." Indeed, we know pretty 
well Thoreau's interest in and use of the three books returned 
and the three volumes checked out by means of that letter. 
Harvard Library records show, by the way, that these 
transactions were accomplished on 30 April, the day 
following the letter date, which also happened to be precisely 
one week after Thoreau's first delivery of his "Walking" 
lecture in the vestry of Concord's Unitarian Church. 5 




The first returned book listed by Thoreau is Alexander 
Young's Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of 
Plymouth, from 1602 to 1625 (Boston: C. C. Little and J. 
Brown, 1846). Although this book is not mentioned in 
Sattelmeyer's catalogue, Bradley P. Dean informs me that it 
was checked out to Thoreau on 27 January 1 85 1 and that 
extracts from it are included in volume 4 of his unpublished 
Indian Book, which Dean is now editing, and on one page of 
the also unpublished Canadian Notebook. The forthcoming 
Princeton Edition of Thoreau's correspondence makes this 
same identification of the returned book by Young, who also 
published a related book known to Thoreau, Chronicles of 

the First Planters of the Colony of 
Massachusetts Bay from 1623 to 
1636, which is listed in Sattelmeyer. 
In late September and early October 
of 1850, Thoreau and Ellery 
Channing had participated in a 
railroad excursion to Montreal and 
Quebec, an excursion that led to the 
Canadian Notebook of extracts from 
Thoreau's readings on Canadian 
history, and eventually to his 1853 
publication of "A Yankee in 
Canada" in Putnam s Magazine. 
Thoreau's next-mentioned book 
Hawkins s Picture of Quebec; with 
Historical Recollections (Quebec: 
[A. Hawkins], 1834), by Alfred 
Hawkins, had been checked out of 
Harvard Library on 10 February 
1 85 1 . 6 Information from Hawkins 
is extracted in the Canadian 
Notebook and included in the 
"Provincetown" chapter of Cape 
Cod. In another 1850 journey, 
Thoreau had made a brief June visit 
alone to Cape Cod, a follow-up to 
his October 1 849 excursion there 
with Channing. Also checked out 
on 1 February was the third book now being returned by 
Thoreau, Benjamin Silliman's Remarks Made on a Short 
Tour between Hartford and Quebec, in the Autumn of 1819 
(2d ed., New-Haven: S. Converge, 1824). Silliman is 
extracted in the Canadian Notebook and quoted in "A 
Yankee in Canada." 

Checked out of Harvard Library on 30 April 1851 per 
Thoreau's request were volumes 2 and 3 of The North 
American Sylva, or a Description of the Forest Trees of the 
United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia which Is 
Added a Description of the Most Useful of the European 
Forest Trees ... Tr. From the French by F. Andrew Michaux, 3 
vols. (Paris: Printed by C. D'Hautel, 1819). Bradley P. Dean 
reports that Thoreau had already borrowed volume 1 of this 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

work on 14 January 1 85 1 . He may have returned it on 10 
February. 7 Thoreau made extensive use of Michaux's work, 
quoting or referring to it in Walden; in his lecture-essays 
"Walking" and "Wild Apples"; in three sections of The 
Maine Woods ("Ktaadn," "The Allegash and East Branch," 
and "Appendix"); in journal entries including January 1851 
(undated), 18 May 1851, 29 May 1851, and 2 January 1859; 
in volumes 2 and 4 of his Indian Book; and in the second 
volume of his Commonplace Book, now in the Berg 
Collection at the New York Public Library. The other 
Harvard Library book-secured for Thoreau by his 30 April 
bearer was Jacob Bigelow's American Medical Botany, 
1817-21 (Boston: Cummings and Hilliard, 1817-20). 
Thoreau cited this work in journal entries dated 29 May, 3 
June, 6 June, and 14 June 1851, as well as in volume 4 of his 
Indian Book. Jacob Bigelow was also the author of Florida 
Bostoniensis, a Collection of Plants of Boston and Its 
Vicinity (1824), which Thoreau identified in his journal on 4 
December 1 856 as his first botany book, acquired two 
decades earlier. 

Exactly when Thoreau returned the Michaux and 
Bigelow books borrowed on 30 April 1851 is not known, but 
my quick page-turning of Sattelmeyer's catalogue confirms 
that at least one other book, also by Michaux, was checked 
out to him on 2 June 1 85 1 (see item 974 on p. 236). 
Moreover, Thoreau's journal entry for 3 June reports a trip to 
Boston the previous day and mentions a botanical suggestion 
by Dr. Harris about Katahdin's mountain cranberries. In all 
probability, some or all of the three volumes borrowed by 
proxy on 30 April were returned on 2 June by Thoreau 
himself, who used the occasion to pick up at least one of the 
threads in his ongoing conversation with Thaddeus Harris. 8 


1 . The other Thoreau-penned letter from 1851, also to 
Thaddeus W. Harris, is dated 10 February. It appears on page 272 
of The Correspondence of Henry David Thoreau, ed. Walter 
Harding and Carl Bode (New York: New York UP, 1958). Asked 
for his hypothesis explaining the dearth of Thoreau letters in 1851, 
Robert N. Hudspeth, editor of the forthcoming Princeton Edition 
of Thoreau 's correspondence (The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau), 
responded, "One, he just wrote few letters; two, this is an example 
of how much our record depends on chance. Bad luck for 1851?" 
Hudspeth reports that the number of recovered letters received by 
Thoreau that year has tripled since the 1958 publication of 
Correspondence, now totaling, alas, a scant three, none of which is 
related to this article. In all, 126 "new" letters by or to Thoreau 
have surfaced since Harding and Bode, bringing the current grand 
total of documented letters by or to him to 632, with well over 100 
others believed to exist based on references in various sources. All 
of these plus any subsequent discoveries will be published in the 
three-volume Princeton correspondence: Volume 1, 1836-1848; 
Volume 2, 1849-1856; Volume 3, 1857-1862 and undated letters. 
E-mail letter from Robert Hudspeth, 6 January 2004. 

2. The letter is item 126 in Catalogue Sixty-Two published by 
M&S Rare Books, Inc., Providence, Rhode Island, in the spring of 

1996. I thank proprietor Daniel Siegel for his help with this 

3. Robert Sattelmeyer, Thoreau's Reading: A Study in 
Intellectual History with Bibliographical Catalogue (Princeton, 
N.J.: Princeton UP, 1988), pp. 9-10. 

4. But not always perfunctory. Harris's 27 June 1854 letter to 
Thoreau concerns a Cicada specimen, sent by Thoreau, that Harris 
declares "new to me, as a species or as a variety." His letter ends, 
"I should be very glad to get more specimens and of both sexes. 
Will you try for them?" Harding and Bode, Correspondence, p. 

5. For the books returned or checked out on 30 April 1 85 1 , 
see Sattelmeyer, Thoreau's Reading, pp. 133 (item 152), 196 (item 
660), 236 (item 973), 269 (item 1244). For Thoreau's delivery of 
"Walking, or the Wild," on 23 April 1851, see Bradley P. Dean and 
Ronald Wesley Hoag, "Thoreau's Lectures before Walden: An 
Annotated Calendar," Studies in the American Renaissance, 1995, 
ed. Joel Myerson (Charlottesville, Va.: UP of Virginia, 1995), pp. 

6. See Harding and Bode, Correspondence, p. 272. 

7. See Harding and Bode, Correspondence, p. 272. 

8. For an engaging overview of the relationship between 
Thoreau and Harris, see J. S. Wade, "The Friendship of Two Old- 
Time Naturalists," The Scientific Monthly 23 (August 1926): 152— 
160. For an account of Thoreau's repeated efforts during the 
1840s to secure borrowing privileges from Harvard Library, an 
effort that at least indirectly invoked Harris, see Walter Harding, 
The Days of Henry Thoreau (New York: Dover, 1982), pp. 266- 

Obscure Film Recalls Thoreau 
Craze of Thirty Years Ago 

W. Barksdale Maynard 

Who wouldn't like to meet Henry Thoreau, sit down 
with him in conversation? In 1975, this dream 
came true for four famous Americans in Talking 
with Thoreau, written and directed by Richard Slote for 
Encyclopedia Britannica films. Hard to find today, this 29- 
minute educational movie stands as a fascinating relic of the 
twentieth-century Thoreauvian heyday. Talking with 
Thoreau was shot partly on location at Walden Pond and at 
Roland Wells Robbins's Thoreau house replica in his 
backyard in the nearby town of Lincoln. Most of the film 
consists, however, of indoor conversations between Thoreau, 
played by actor Barry Primus, and four illustrious visitors to 
his cabin, actually a set. These visitors are not actors, but the 
real conservationist David Brower, psychologist B. F. 
Skinner, civil-rights activist Rosa Parks, and former United 
States Attorney General Eliot Richardson, in a time-travel 
scenario that is simultaneously intriguing and ludicrous. 

The movie is nothing if not earnest, with close-up shots 
of a meditative Thoreau alternating with sequences in which 
he walks dreamily along the pondshore to the moody music 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

of a flute. Those involved in the project had not always been 
so highbrow; Richard Slote had help in directing the film 
from Paul Asselin, associate producer of The Honeymoon 
Killers (1970), a "dark humorous thriller about a fat nurse 
and a Spanish gigolo who murder rich but lonely women." 
Later Asselin directed The Making of Star Wars (1977). 
Their choice for Thoreau, Barry Primus, has appeared in 
countless movies and television shows, including such un- 
Thoreauvian offerings as Cannibal Women in the Avocado 
Jungle of Death ( 1 989) and The Women of Spring Break 
(1995). His blow-dried coif aside, Primus made a plausible 
Thoreau, though at 37 he was ten years older than his subject 
was when living at Walden, and one gets no sense of the 
experiment as a product, specifically, of youthful enthusiasm. 
When he strolls Walden's paths, they are unmistakably the 
eroded ones of the 1970s, with railroad ties stacked as 
cribwork. But as we shall see, these anachronisms are 
nothing beside the extreme implausabilities presented by the 
device of time-travel. 

Time is but the stream I go a- 
fishing in. I drink at it; but 
while I drink I see the sandy 
bottom and detect how shallow 
it is. Its thin current slides 

"Where I Lived, and What I Lived For' 

The first visitor to the house is David Brower, who like 
later guests sits in a chair beside the window, a desk at his 
side, against which the rapt Henry leans. Sad-faced Brower 
somewhat recalls a small-town minister in his earnest 
preachiness, which doe-eyed Thoreau absorbs with a smile. 
He asks Brower, "1 wonder, could I come back to Walden 
here again in your century and have the same experiences 
that I have now?" Brower gloomily replies, "I'm afraid you 
couldn't.... You would have overflights of jets [and] all the 
extraneous noises that our sudden discovery of vast amounts 
of energy have enabled us to set loose in the world." 

By way of illustrating how technology has corrupted 
mankind, Brower tells how he once took a commercial flight 
over the North Pole and saw the aurora borealis shimmering 
majestically outside the window. Wanting others to enjoy the 
spectacle, "I asked the stewardess, well, shouldn't the captain 
tell the people about this, on the public address system? And 
she said, 'Oh no, the passengers wouldn't want the movie 
interrupted.' " At this one cannot help but wonder how much 
Thoreau — listening intently — would have known of jets and 
in-flight movies. Ironies abound: we are being scolded for 
liking to watch films even as we sit watching a film; 

Thoreau, here showcased as a proponent of authenticity and 
anti-technology, is in fact an actor bathed in Klieg lights; and 
Brower — being paid for his time? — perches in front of a 
movie-set window with a fake landscape "outside" to 
espouse lofty back-to-nature doctrines. 

The next guest is received coldly. "I'm B. F. Skinner, 
Harvard University; I think you were there briefly. I want to 
explain to you why I took the liberty of calling a book 
Walden Two after your Walden One. I did it because I not 
only very much admire your book, but I think the two books 
are really on the same theme. I really believe we are both 
interested in the possibility of redesigning a way of life. If 
you don't like the life that the society hands you, go off and 
try something of your own." This flattery does nothing to 
soften Thoreau toward the dome-headed Skinner, whom he 
eyes warily. Eventually Henry says, "Professor Skinner, you 
alluded to me in one of your books ... as an outrageous 
romantic, a pernicious character." (Thoreau's grasp of 
literature has never seemed more impressive than in this 
learned allusion to Beyond Freedom and Dignity, written 109 
years after he was buried.) Skinner replies sheepishly and 
with a hint of a smile, "Well, I didn't — when I wrote that— I 
didn't know I was going to meet you when I wrote that, or I 
should have softened it up a bit, I think." 

Apparently glad to be rid of Skinner, Thoreau clutches a 
red apple and listens benignantly to Rosa Parks describing 
the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He remarks, "It's one of the 
things we have in common — that we're both jailbirds." 
Parks, prim and polite, seems to adore Thoreau: "If Dr. King 
hadn't been the leader that he was, reading your writings, 
our movement would not have been the success that it was, 
so we owe you a great debt of gratitude, and by our protests 
we hope to continue the work that you began." 

Finally the chair beside the wooden table is filled 
impressively by Eliot Richardson in a business suit. A puffy 
scarf (green, of course) flung around his neck, Thoreau in 
this scene disconcertingly resembles a Students for a 
Democratic Society activist staring down a 1960s college 
dean. Again unfazed by the bewildering time-travel 
implications, he asks if Richardson would have arrested him 
for his refusal to pay taxes. "Certainly," Richardson replies, 
"And I think that you should have been subject to the 
enforcement of law." At this, Thoreau furrows his brow and 
gnaws a finger. A subsequent exchange meanders, at last, 
into the decidedly surreal: 

Thoreau: "When you were asked to fire Special 
Prosecutor Archibald Cox in the Watergate case or 
resign your own office as Attorney General under 
Richard Nixon, did you find that decision difficult?" 
Richardson: "Well, it probably wasn't really any 
harder for me than it may have been for you to 
decide not to pay your taxes." 
Absurdities aside, Talking with Thoreau is a valuable 
document of the 1970s Thoreau cult, now slipping into 
distant memory. Of the four visitors, Skinner and Brower 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

are no longer living. Roland Robbins's Thoreau house, so 
prominently featured, is now gone — it was to be removed to 
the Institute at Walden Woods about 2000 but proved too 
rotten to reassemble. At 64, Barry Primus continues to 
appear in television shows and movies. Among his credits, 
ironically, is that he was casting director for the film that 
many confuse with Thoreau's Walden, the 1981 hit On 
Golden Pond. One wonders if Primus recalls his role as 
Henry in an obscure film of almost 30 years ago, in an 
earnest era of back-to-nature and zealous Thoreauvianism 
that is gradually being borne away from us by the stream of 

stream, students and staff gathered for a work bee on a brisk 
November 2003 afternoon. Russell had recruited one more 
member of the faculty, Science'Department Chair Michael 
Dalton, who has carpentry and roofing experience, and the 
frame went up. 

Dalton cut a few pine trees on the school property and 
had them sawn at a local mill to exact six-by-six-inch 
measurements. Other logs were sawn into boards for 
flooring. Russell said the structure, tarped over for winter, 
will be finished this autumn. The English teacher said he 
will keep track of expenses, though economy has not been a 
major consideration. 

Raising Thoreau's House Beams 

Bernard A. Drew 

A small Thoreau house replica has risen in the woods 
behind Berkshire Hall on the campus of Berkshire 
School in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Hilary Russell, 
English Department Chair (atop ladder at right in the photo), 
has taught an elective course on Thoreau's Walden for the 
last three years, "and each year I've taken the students to the 
pond [in Concord] where they step inside the replica house," 
he said. "They always impress me with how much they learn 
by being in that space." 

If it works there, why wouldn't it work in Sheffield? 
Russell acquired a set of the Robbins plans from the Thoreau 
Society Shop at Walden Pond. The preparatory school 
teacher has experience in boat building, but not in larger 
construction. So he and Math Department Chair Allan 
Bredenfoerder attended Heartwood School in Becket, 
Massachusetts, to learn the rudiments of timber- frame 
building. Then Berkshire students who preferred afternoon 
activity to sports went to wood shop. The teachers measured 
and marked all the pieces, but the young people cut and 
drilled them. 

On a small terrace above an old woods road, shaded by 
towering birch and oak, and not far from a burbling mountain 

We are grateful to 

Charlesbridge Publishing 

Films by Huey 
Princeton University Press 

for supporting the Thoreau Society's 

publications with its advertisements. 

Those interested in supporting the Thoreau 

Society's publications should contact Karen 

Kashian, Business Manager, Thoreau Society, 

44 Baker Farm, Lincoln, MA 01773 U.S.A.; 


Thoreau First Day Covers 

James Dawson 

A First Day Cover (FDC) can be created whenever the 
United States Postal Service issues a new stamp. 
There are FDCs (also called cachets) for almost 
every aspect of history you can imagine, and many of them 
feature famous Americans, including Henry Thoreau. 

The FDC is an envelope or card bearing the new stamp 
postmarked with the day and place of its first issue, which 
for Thoreau was Concord, Massachusetts, 12 July 1967. 
This first-class 50 stamp was designed by Leonard Baskin to 
celebrate Thoreau's 1 50 th birthday. FDC envelopes usually 
measure 6 l A" x 378" and have art work or textual material 
that complement the stamp. Commercially made FDCs are 
usually postmarked in bulk elsewhere, but collectors can 
send their own design to the original post office for 
cancellation. (The Postal Service has a thirty-day window 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

for this service.) Bob Patkin, a dealer in FDCs, told me that 

there are thirty-six commercially made Thoreau cachets and 

an unknown number of private ones. Most of them have art 

work from the three known 

Thoreau portraits, or other 

appropriate scenes or 


I have thirty-five FDCs 
in my Thoreau collection. 
Of these, twenty-three 

- ■ ■ ■.- r. 

D TWOfif AU 

aoRN jot ■ 

CMCO MAY 6 186? 

feature portraits of Thoreau: four based on the Rowse crayon 
portrait, eight on the Maxham daguerreotype, two on the 

Baskin stamp (which is 
based on Maxham), seven 
on the Dunshee ambrotype, 
one silhouette, and one that 
purports to be Thoreau but 
could just as well be any 
man with a beard. The 
remaining twelve feature Concord scenes or Thoreau quotes 
with designs of various sorts. 

I also have the original artwork for the FDC designed by 
Day Lowery, a pen-and-ink drawing with blue-gray wash 
and white-out on a 15" x 20" piece of illustration board 
(bottom one. this column). The text across the top reads 
HUMANITARIAN..." with a drawing of "the hut at Walden 
Pond" in a circle ringed with leaves and a drawing of 
"Thoreau's Home In Concord" at the bottom with some 
biographical text. Lowery 
happens to have been the 
sole artist for Aristocrat 
cachets from 1945 to 1974. 

The artwork of the 
Thoreau FDCs runs the 
gamut from excellent to 
amateurish. Probably the best FDC is also the most 
common, a high-quality design featuring the Maxham 

daguerreotype of Thoreau 
with a drawing of the 
Walden house (first one, 
this column). Founding 
Secretary of the Thoreau 
Society, Walter Harding, 
- distributed this FDC to 
members of the Thoreau Society. Harding also mentioned in 
Thoreau Society Bulletin number 99 that members could 
obtain another FDC design from the Thoreau Lyceum, that 
one also of a high quality and featuring the title-page 
illustration from the first edition of Walden (second one. this 

Thoreau Society Bulletin number 100 contains an 
illustration of an FDC made by Henry Bugbee Kane that 



built citlei in the air, 
■our work need not he lost; 
here they should be. 
put foundation* under them. 

demonstrated his dislike of the Baskin stamp. The Baskin 
design for the Thoreau stamp was a controversial one. 

Walter Harding liked it, 
thinking that it presented 
Thoreau 's strength of 
character and personality; 
but many others, including 
Kane, disapproved of the 
skewed expression. (One 
Society member suggested, famously, that this was the only 
stamp designed to be spit upon on both sides.) In any event, 
Kane's FDC features a self- 
portrait of Kane glancing 
up in disapproval at the 
stamp pasted in the corner 
with the caption, "For my 
part, I could easily do 
without Baskin." 

Ilmrv ^ 



id Thoreau 


Some FDC artists were apparently hard pressed to come 
up with unique designs, while others seem to have had little 
difficulty marching to the 
off-beat of a different 
drummer. One odd FDC 
bears on its surface a thin 
aluminium plate with the 
embossed image of the 
Rowse portrait. Another 
shows a crude drawing of Thoreau and, for some reason, the 
Minot House on Virginia Road. Yet another has the Baskin 
stamp mounted next to its replica — made of 22-karat gold 

foil. My personal favorite 
worst Thoreau FDC shows 
Thoreau sitting in front of a 
log cabin smoking a pipe 
and feeding rabbits (to left 
here)! But another comes 
in a close second: a portrait 
of Thoreau sporting a 
forked beard next to a drawing of a three-story building on a 
lake (last one, this column). Clearly, not a great deal of 
research went into some of these productions. 

Most Thoreau FDCs are priced in the $1 to $10 range, 

while a few might be worth 
as much as $25. All of the 
Thoreau FDCs were issued 
for Thoreau's 150 th 
birthday except for one 
postmarked Boston, 9 
August 1978. Amusingly, 
this FDC celebrated the 124 th anniversary of the publication 
of Walden. Because the United States Postal Service had not 
seen fit to issue a stamp commemorating Walden, this FDC . 
was forced to use the old Baskin stamp — plus a regular 20 
stamp to cover the increase in first-class postage since 1967. 



Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

The Thoreau Society's John 
Brown Weekend 

Sandy Petrulionis and Jayne Gordon 

Over the course of a chilly weekend in the middle of March 
2004, sixteen members of the Thoreau Society from eight 
states (Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, 
Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts) gathered with residents 
of Loudoun County, Virginia, for a weekend of "living history." 
Under the leadership of Loudoun Valley High School History 
teacher Rich Gillespie, and the incredibly informed and talented 
aid of fifteen History Club students, we immersed ourselves in the 
background and drama of John Brown, his men, and their raid on 
the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, an event that began late the 
night of 16 October 1 859 and ended two days later — a total failure 
by most accounts, a startling and enduring success by others. 

The first evening, after supper at a private home near 
Purcellville, some fifty miles west of Washington, D.C., we shared 
our varied reasons for trekking to Virginia for this program. Not 
surprisingly, our comments spanned the gamut — from those who 
sought to further their understanding of Thoreau's connection with 
the zealot Brown, to those who wondered what lessons this 
episode has to offer us today (see text box on this page for some 
examples). Most of us came with more questions than answers, 
but all of us arrived with a keen interest in learning about a 
celebrated figure who has troubled people for more than a century. 
Many of us, in fact, asked the same questions raised by nineteenth- 
century Americans themselves in the days after the raid had failed. 
Why had John Brown, a militant abolitionist fresh from the civil 
strife raging in Kansas, with the aid of twenty-one men armed with 
rifles, tramped into the town of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, bent on 
taking over the arsenal, securing the town, and inciting slaves to 
rebel and join his army — all in an effort to end slavery in the 
United States? Why did he believe he could succeed? And why, 
when he failed, did Henry Thoreau rally to his cause and salute the 
violence of both his means and their end? These were some of the 
questions we brought with us; and although these queries went 
home with us as well, we at least also carried in mind a sense of 
the multiple directions the answers could take. 

Most historians through the years have come to regard 
Brown's raid as one of the two or three instrumental events that 
catapulted the United States to Civil War a year and a half later. 
Branded a madman and a fanatic by southerners and northerners 
alike, even by the abolitionists who supported his determination to 
end slavery, Brown was nonetheless honored by former slaves 
such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. But one of the 
first and most stridently positive tributes to Brown came just two 
weeks after the raid, in the form of a public address by Henry D. 
Thoreau, who spoke his mind to audiences in Concord, Boston, 
and Worcester — the first public antislavery remarks he'd made in 
five years. From the first evening he gave this speech, soon 
published as "A Plea for Captain John Brown," his neighbors were 
puzzled at Thoreau's strong endorsement of this fanatical man, his 
violent methods, and his revolutionary goals. Through the years, 
historians and Thoreauvians alike have continued to debate the 
subject, endeavoring to come to terms with the principled 
Transcendentalist's ringing endorsement of the legendary "Old 
Man" of Harpers Ferry. 

• "John Brown is a dichotomy: He's a noble figure to 
some, and others revile him." 

• "How could the man who wrote 'Civil Disobedience' 
write 'A Plea for Captain John Brown'?" 

• "How can John Brown's motives be supported?" 

• "John Brown is one who struck for freedom. Why did 
he do what he did?" 

• "Is Brown a hero or this awful person?" 

• "Today's problem of religious extremism and terrorism 
seems connected with John Brown: How does good 
come out of evil? This is controversial territory. Does 
it matter what your objective is?" 

• "I'm an exchange student here in Virginia from 
England, and John Brown has always been just a 
footnote in our history books. I want to know the full 

• "I've been puzzled by and interested in John Brown for 
years. He's saying something to us today, but I still 
don't know what it is." 

Friday evening's excursions immersed us in the antebellum 
world of a slave in Virginia, with dramatic interpretations of the 
dark side of plantation life by candlelight on the grounds of 
Oatlands Plantation and a late-night moonlit trek on the escape 
route taken by fugitive slaves through Waterford, Virginia. When 
a slave catcher appeared on horseback just as we arrived at the 
doorstep of a Quaker "safe house," we felt something of the fear 
and anguish slaves must have experienced in similar situations. In 
a sense, we became the runaways who were returned to slavery. It 
was in this context that we then investigated John Brown and his 

Saturday brought us to Harpers Ferry, which we explored on 
foot and through historical vignettes presented by the students to 
introduce the characters, conversations, viewpoints, and literal 
perspectives in this town that housed the arsenal at the confluence 
of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. We became — for a 
moment in time — the raiders, sitting in the same attic room where 
they hid out in the privately-owned Kennedy farmhouse in 
Maryland, meeting secretly to go over our parts in the "Old 
Man's" plans. And then, once again, under the cover of darkness, 
we were off on a mission. By the time we crept silently in the 
twenty-degree darkness alongside the C & O canal bordering the 
Potomac River as it runs into Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, we had 
spent twenty-four hours together, twenty-one men and women 
becoming familiar not only with each other, but even more with 
our alter egos for the weekend — Owen, Oliver, and Watson 
Brown; Charles Tidd; Edwin and Barclay Coppoc; Dauphin and 
William Thompson; John Cook; Lewis Leary; William Leeman; 
Stewart Taylor; Jeremiah Anderson; John Copeland; Albert 
Hazlett; Osborn Anderson; Francis Jackson Meriam; Aaron 
Stevens; Dangerfield Newby; John Kagi — and their leader, 59- 
year-old Captain John Brown. 

Saturday at midnight we were sitting in the darkness of the 
Engine House at Harpers Ferry, together, yet alone in our thoughts 
about the meaning of what we had experienced. Sunday, around a 
table in the old train station in Purcellville, we had a chance to 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

share those thoughts with each other. Had we changed our minds 
and attitudes? Did we emerge with more questions than answers? 
Henry Thoreau weighed in, too, rest assured, through our 
discussion of "A Plea for Captain John Brown." 

And finally, late Sunday afternoon, sitting in the church built 
by freed slaves in Waterford, Virginia, listening to the lovely 
young president of the History Club talk about the importance of 
having passion for what you believe in and for what you do in life, 
past and present came together for each of us in a strange, but 
fitting synthesis of this unusual and stirring weekend. 

A postscript by Bob Clarke of Woodbury, Connecticut: 

Here we are on a late winter night — this band of 
some twenty-plus middle-aged-and-over individuals, 
marching in pairs along the Chesapeake and Ohio canal 
tow path towards Harpers Ferry. We were not so much 
re-enacting John Brown's quixotic quest to induce the 
slaves of the area to revolt as much as we were 
experiencing it and getting a feeling of the life of the 
slaves, and that of Brown and his band of brothers — those 
who had followed him from the border wars of the 
Kansas-Missouri area and those who were late to the call 
but sincerely believed enough in the abolitionist cause to 
offer their lives and their services in its behalf. 

Members of the Society are here in response to 
Thoreau's "Plea for Captain John Brown." Thoreau 
ardently believed in Brown's commitment to the cause, as 
we might say in the current vernacular — he's not just 
talking the talk but walking the walk. Here I am one of 
Thoreau's band of disciples, and a seventy-year-old 
Connecticut Yankee and former English teacher, living 
not twenty miles from Brown's birthplace, taking on the 
role of twenty-year-old Willie Leeman, the youngest of 
the raiders, born in southern Maine, gone to Kansas in 
search of a better life, and returning east after fighting 
under Brown's tutelage — only to be killed in a vain 
attempt to escape from Harpers Ferry and to suffer the 
further ignominy of becoming a target of drunken 
Virginians as his body lay on the shore of one of the river 

islands. Before this night is over I have 
come to understand what compelled not only 
Willie but the others essentially to throw 
away their lives, not realizing that in about 
eighteen months their failure this night 
would become legendary in the person of 
their leader, whose name would march into 
the history of our Civil War. 

And leading us on this expedition into 
the past is another little band of brothers and 
sisters — the officers of the two-hundred-plus 
Loudoun Valley High School History 
Club — directed by its Pied Piper faculty 
advisor, and brother of our Society's 
Executive Director, Rich Gillespie. All in all 
it's been a fantastic journey and a fantastic 
learning experience, not only in terms of this 
trip into the past, but also in terms of what 
an effect an exceptional school program can 
have beyond its time and place. 

John Caffrey: A Brief Profile 

Bradley P. Dean 

During the month of August 2004, the Literary and. 
Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, 
will host a display featuring a two-page overview of 
Thoreau, books and other materials by and about Thoreau, some 
information about early English publishers and editors of 
Thoreau's writings, and five stunningly beautiful gouache 
paintings of birds mentioned in Thoreau's journal with appropriate 
passages from the 
journal. (Gouache is a 
"method of painting with 
opaque watercolors 
mixed with a preparation 
of gum." The five 
paintings on display, 
while predominately 
gouache, also contain 
passages of pure 
watercolor.) The artist, 
John Caffrey, who will 
put the display together 
and arranged for it to 
appear in the Literary and 
Philosophical Society, 
selected these five birds 
as his subjects because he 
had seen them during 

visits to wild areas during his trips to the United States. We" are 
grateful to Caffrey for allowing us to publish here images of two 
of those five paintings: a wood thrush (top) and a downy 

Thoreau writes in "Walking" that with regard to nature, he felt 
that he lived "a sort of border life, on the confines of a world into 
which I make occasional and transient forays only, and my 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

patriotism and 

allegiance to the 

state into whose 

territories I seem to 

retreat are those of 

a moss-trooper." 

The border area 

where moss- 
troopers marauded 

in the seventeenth 

century happens to 

be the very area 

where Caffrey 

resides. He lives in 

Morpeth, a historic ^ 


country town 

fifteen miles north 

of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and just south of England's border with 

Scotland. Caffrey first read Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and 

Merrimack Rivers in the 1 960s and soon afterwards acquired a 

copy of the Everyman Edition of Walden, which for many years he 

carried with him daily to his work as a telephone engineer so that 

he could read from the book 
during his lunch breaks "in 
some of the most beautiful and 
historic Northumbrian 

Caffrey first visited 
Concord in 1994. Although he 
spent only part of a day there 
at that time, he visited Walden 
Pond and Thoreau's gravesite 
and the Thoreau Lyceum — and 

recalls the day as one "sprinkled with Stardust." He joined the 

Thoreau Society in February 1 996 and since then has attended 

three Annual Gatherings. 

Notes & Queries 

■*" We are grateful to the authors who contributed articles for 
this number of the Bulletin. Sandy Petrulionis is the editor of 
Thoreau's Journal; Volume 8, 1854; teaches English at Penn State 
Altoona; and serves on the Board of Directors of the Thoreau 
Society. W. Barksdale Maynard is the author of Walden Pond: A 
History and Architecture in the United States, 1800-1850, and 
teaches architectural history at Johns Hopkins University and the 
University of Delaware. Ronald Wesley Hoag teaches English at 
East Carolina University and serves on the Board of Directors of 
the Thoreau Society. Jayne Gordon is Executive Director of the 
Thoreau Society and lives in Concord, Massachusetts. Bernard 
A. Drew lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and is a 
freelance writer and editor who alternates writing scholarly 
reference books and local histories of Berkshire County. Bradley 
P. Dean edits this Bulletin. James Dawson owns and operates 
Unicorn Books in Trappe, Maryland. 

*" Poet Mary Oliver in Blue Pastures (Harcourt, 1995) says, 
"From my way of thinking, Thoreau frequently seems an overly 

social person." 

"»" In Walden 's second chapter, Thoreau wrote, "To affect the 
quality of the day, that is the highest of arts." Your editor recently 
finished a mediocre dinner at a Chinese restaurant by reading this 
from the slip in the obligatory fortune cookie: "To effect [sic] the 
quality of the day is no small achievement." 

®° Austin Meredith learned that in 1953, on South Island of 
New Zealand, the Homer Tunnel opened up Milford Sound to road 
access from Te Anau. This is the longest raw tunnel in the world. 
A plaque beside a short trail just beyond the tunnel, near Milford 
Sound, reportedly reads: "The best sculptors in stone are not 
copper and steel tools, but air and water, working at a leisurely 
pace, with liberal amounts of time." The remark from A Week is 
apt for the locale, according to Janak Neill, with whom Meredith 
has corresponded on the matter. Neill contacted John Hall-Jones 
of Invercargill, who has written three or four books about Milford 
Sound and who reported that there is indeed such a plaque "at the 
'Chasm' about five kilometers back up the Milford Road from 
Milford with the quote from Thoreau." The plaque was erected by 
the Department of Conservation and records Thoreau's name as 
"David Henry Thoreau." 

®° Edward Dolnick's Down the Great Unknown: John Wesley 
Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy through the 
Grand Canyon (HarperCollins, 2001) quotes Thoreau in a section 
about the Grand Canyon's geo-history, rock carved by river: 
" 'The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools,' wrote 
Thoreau, 'but the gentle touches of air and water working at their 
leisure with a liberal allowance of time.' " 

"" Ed Schofield pointed out to us an article in The Christian 
Science Monitor of 2 January 2004 that described Democratic 
presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich as follows (we remove 
paragraph breaks): "Like his nonconformist audience this evening, 
Mr. Kucinich is a candidate with quirks. A strict vegan, he would 
hardly be the type to throw a Crawford, Texas, barbecue. A skilled 
ventriloquist, he keeps a dummy in his office to entertain school 
kids who visit him on field trips. . . . And though he comes from the 
Rust Belt shores of Lake Erie, he often speaks more as a New 
England transcendentalist, straight from Walden Pond. 'We need 
to be certain that we have agricultural policies that are rooted in a 
philosophy which connects us to the power of nature itself 
Kucinich tells the bundled-up country folk gathered in the shed.... 
In the same 19th-century vein, Kucinich often urges his audiences 
to read Emerson's 'Self-Reliance,' an essay he says he's read at 
least once a year since he was a boy. 'Trust thyself: every heart 
vibrates to that iron string,' he often quotes. 'To believe that what 
is true for you in your private heart is true for all men. — that is 
genius.' Nonconformists, however, are by definition few and far 
between, and Kucinich is near the bottom of the polls. Beyond 
this band of pastoral farmers, few have even heard of Dennis 
Kucinich — 'Is he the one with the ears?' " 

CF ", A contestant on the television quiz show Jeopardy, during 
the broadcast of 8 January 2004, was asked to answer the question: 
"While living at Walden Pond, Thoreau was jailed by Sam Staples 
for not paying his taxes in this town." 

rif " In Sidney Lens's The Forging of American Empire (Cover 
subtitle: "From the Revolution to Vietnam: A History of U.S. 
Imperialism"), first published in 1971 by Thomas Y. Crowell, but 
recently co-published by Pluto Press and Haymarket Books of 
Chicago, with a new foreword by Howard Zinn, we read. "fTJhere 
has always been, in the annals of America, some sentiment 


Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

opposed not only to militarism but to war per se. If many were 
hostile to standing armies nonetheless endorsed specific wars, 
there were others who took issue with both. They ranged all the 
way from philosophical pacifists like Noah Worcester, Henry 
David Thoreau, and A. J. Muste, to nonpacifists who were critical 
of the particular war at hand...." When discussing the events of 
1812, Lens also claims, "A small town in Massachusetts, 
anticipating Thoreau's thesis on nonpayment of taxes, vowed not 
to remit any monies to the national treasury." Regrettably, 
however, he does not document his source. 

■»" Martin Murie's column in the December 2003/January 
2004 issue of Canyon Countiy Gazette, "Losing Solitude," is an 
essay about the "insistent voice-over" variety of guided nature 
walks, but he gives a couple of examples of happier outdoor 
experiences. Murie writes, "Does it take something unexpected to 
give us a nudge into paying attention to what's really happening, 
precisely where we stand or walk? I think so. It's all very well to 
tell each other to hang loose, look around, let what comes come, 
but the human will is a mysterious inhabitant. It needs training or 
a nudge. Even Thoreau admits that there are times when he goes 
outdoors to get free of indoors but his indoors thoughts go with 
him. My bet is that a bird or a rainstorm or a sudden blaze of 
blossom, things like that, provided the nudge, got Henry back to 
'now where my body is.' Walking, 1862." . 

:g= Jules Lobel's Success Without Victory: Lost Legal Battles 
and the Long Road to Justice in America (New York UP, 2003) 
contains an introduction that examines "the prevailing view" that 
law is utilitarian and looks at different traditions that critique "the 
mainstream view of success in law and life." Lobel writes, "One 
view, perhaps best expressed in our country by Ralph Waldo 
Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, replaces 'success' with 
expressive individualism, a kind of self-reliance that doesn't 
depend on the rewards of the outside world. In this view work is a 
calling, an expression of oneself, and a way to cultivate moral 
sensibilities, not merely a utilitarian activity that leads to winning. 
'[We should] measure a person not primarily on the virtue of his 
actions,' writes Thoreau, 'but by the free character he is and is felt 
to be under all circumstances.' Their focus on the inner, 
expressive self led Emerson and Thoreau to view success and 
failure not as dichotomies but as existing in dialectic tension and 
unity...." Oddly, Lobel's source is cited as Martha Banta's Failure 
and Success in America: A Literary Debate (Princeton UP, 1978). 

:g ° The Fall 2003 issue of Seed magazine includes a series of 
short articles under the rubric "The Third Culture" about people 
bridging the gap between science and the humanities. From Laura 
McNeil's piece about fiction writer Anthony Doerr ("The New 
Naturalist"): "Noting Emerson and Thoreau as important early 
examples of how to apply language to the natural world, while 
also making his stories emotionally successful, Doerr, 30, strives 
to make his settings 'as much a country of the imagination as a 
real place.' " (McNeil earlier quoted Doeer: "I don't really believe 
there's any use differentiating the natural world and the human 
one, since they're so obviously the same.") 

( anada-based Alternative Journal ran a one-page list of 
suggestions for activists in its Fall 2003 issue, Tooker Gomberg's 
"Jump Into the Fire." The list often items includes: (3) "Fill the 
jails. Thoreau went to jail in 1 X46 for refusing to pay taxes to fund 
the immoral Mexican-American War..." and (4) "Disobey immoral 

A profile of Buddhist conservation biologist Michael Soule 

by Lisa Jones ("The Buckshot Bodhisattva," Tricycle, Winter 
2003) quotes Soule: "Most people feel they live in a world of 
scarcity. They feel if they are too generous, they won't have 
enough for themselves; that happiness is the reward of self- 
indulgence. And yet people who have thought deeply about it and 
have experimented with simplicity — as the Buddha did, and as 
Thoreau did — find that it's the opposite: Happiness comes from 
generosity and living simply." 

®° The Gallery of History recently offered an "address leaf 
(envelope?) penned by Thoreau to "Ticknor & Fields" (lp, 4!/2 x 
4!/2) on 1 1 August 1854, two days after Walden was published. 
The price was US$1,999.00. A one-page ^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
letter to James T. Fields was originally 
"attached to it" and reads, "I shall feel 
still more under obligations to you if you 
will send the accompanying volume to 
Mr. Sumner in one of your parcels. I 
find that I omitted to count the volume 
sent to Greeley & so have one more than 
my due. Will you please charge me with 
it." Massachusetts Senator Charles 

Sumner was a good friend of Thoreau's who periodically sent him 
copies of government publications gratis. Founder and editor of 
the New-York Tribune, Horace Greeley was a friend who had 
occasionally acted as Thoreau's literary agent. "Thoreau" is 
penned above the addressee — apparently by Thoreau himself. 

«" Jim Dawson generously sent us the following from 
American Book Prices Current vol. 109 (auction season 
September 2002-August 2003). 

Cape Cod. Bost., 1865 [1864]'. 1st Ed. 12mo, orig cloth; 

spine ends worn. Stain in upper outer corner of a few 

leaves; without pbr's cstatend. sg Apr 10 (184) $550. 
The Maine Woods. Bost., 1864. 8vo, ong cloth, wa May 22 

(419) $350. 
Three Essays. Life Without Principle. Stanford: James Ladd 

Delkin, 1946. One of 500. Preface by Henry Miller. 

Orig half cloth, in darkened & worn dj. pba Jan 9 (44) 

Walden. Bost., 1854. 1 st Ed. 8vo, orig cloth; repaired. With 

map & ads dated Mar 1854. b&b June 25 (3353) $3,000. 
[Walden. Bost., 1854. 1st Ed. 8vo,] Orig cloth; extremities 

worn, rubbed, 1 gathering partly sprung. With map & 

with ads dated Sept 1854. CNY Apr 8 (223) $5,000. 
[Walden. Bost., 1854. 1st Ed. 8vo,] Orig cloth; inner front 

hinge reinforced, text block cracked, a few gatherings 

sprung, some wear to extremities. With map & with ads 

dated Apr 1 854. CNY Apr 8 (224) $4,200. 
[Walden. Bost., 1854. 1st Ed. 8vo,] Orig cloth; small stain on 

upper cover, a few signatures sprung. With ads dated Sept 

1854. July 29 (241) $7,000. 
[Walden. Bost., 1854. 1st Ed. 8vo,] Modern mor, orig cloth 

bound in; joints rubbed. With map & ads dated June 

1854. Minor foxing; a few small stains. P June 20 (233) 

[Walden. Bost., 1854. 1st Ed. 8vo,] Orig cloth; spine ends & 

tips rubbed with loss, rear joint starting, split to center of 

text block, foxing to rear endpapers & to front matter. 

With ads dated Apr 1854. sg Oct 24 (501) $2,200. 
Works. Bost., 1906. Manuscript Ed, one of 600, this copy 

with onlaid half-page section of an ALs to H. Blake, 29 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 


June 1858. 20 vols. Orig mor gilt. P June 20 (234) 

A Yankee in Canada.... Bost., 1866. 1st Ed. 8vo, orig cloth, A 
bdg; spine ends & tips frayed, front hinge cracked, sg 
Oct 24 (500) $140. 

Thoreau's copy, Henry David. Whitman, Walt. Leaves of 
Grass. Brooklyn, 1855. 1st Ed, 1st Issue. Folio, orig 
cloth; recased with new endpapers & orig front endpaper 
tipped in. Thoreau's sgd copy with his signature in pencil 
on the orig front free endpaper. Sanborn — Wakeman — 
R. W. Martin copy. P Dec 13 (164) $100,000. 

ALs, 6 Oct 1838. 2pp, 4to. To Reverend Andrew Bigelow. 
Applying for a teaching position including R. W. 
Emerson as a reference. With holograph integral address 
leaf. Very fine. In mor folding case, lllus in cat. 
Lackritz Collection CNY Apr 8 (226) $11 ,000. 

ALs, 8 Feb 1850. 1 p, 4to. To Mr. C. Northend. Accepting 
his invitation to give a lecture. With tape stains at 
corners. Illus in cat sg Apr 3 (193) $6,000. 

The Thoreau Society is grateful to 

Penn State Altoona 

for its continuing generosity in hosting 

our membership office. Special thanks 

and congratulations to 

Penn State Altoona student 

Dustin Brandt 

who designed our web site, produced 

our membership directory, and 

graduates this spring! 

ALs, 3 Apr 1850. 4pp, 9.5 by 7.5 inches. To H. G. O. Blake. 
About appearance versus reality, spirituality & other 
philosophical matters. Second sheet with repaired tear & 
minor fold splits. Yellowed. Framed under plexiglass 
with 2 photo ports. Overall size 15.75 by 29 inches. Illus 
in cat P June 20 (235) $42,500. 
c ^ Scott Silver's "Ed Abbey Was Wrong" (Canyon Country 
Zephyr, February/March 2004), the transcription of a short address 
presented at a conference of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, 
argues against Edward Abbey's words from The Journey Home: 
"The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more 
defenders." Quoting "father of the Wilderness Act, Howard 
Zahniser" (who said in 1956, "We must see that an adequate 
system of wilderness areas is designed for preservation, and then 
we must allow nothing to alter the wilderness character of the 
preserves"), Silver adds, "Failing either, we will face the serious 
consequence implicit in Thoreau's aphorism, "In Wildness is the 
preservation of the world." 

■*■ The second epigraph to the chapter devoted to "animals 

and birds" (sic) in Nina A. Simonowicz's Nina's North Shore 
Guide (U Minnesota P, 1999): "awkward looking animals, with 
long legs and short bodies, making a ludicrous figure when in full 
run, but making great headway nevertheless. — Henry David 
Thoreau, Ktaadn, referring to moose." 

**" From John Pukite's Hiking Minnesota (Falcon Publishing, 
1998): Three paragraphs on clothing (p. 8) begin "Thoreau once 
said, 'Beware of enterprises requiring new clothing.' ' 

"»" Eric Sloane's The Spirits of '76 (Ballantine Books, 1973) 
quotes Thoreau in his chapter on frugality (" 'Money,' said 
Thoreau, 'is not necessary to buy one's necessities [sic] of the 
soul") and in a chapter on the spirit of hard work ("Thoreau said 
the prime aim of a laborer should not be to make his living but to 
perform his work well. 'Do not hire a man who does your work 
for money,' he said, 'but him who does it for love of it.' ") 

■*" Dick Schneider noticed one morning recently while driving 
"one of the most bizarre versions of a Thoreau bumper sticker that 
I have seen in a long time. The sticker on the car in front of me 
said T march to a different accordion.' Maybe a member of a 
polka band? Go figure." 

*■ Authors and prospective authors of books relating to 
Thoreau, please take note. Contact the Thoreau Society Shop at 
Walden Pond so that it can advance order copies of your book. 
Also, please consider adding a "Note to the Reader" about the 
Thoreau Society on one of the otherwise blank pages at the end of 
your book. Jayne Gordon would be pleased to provide copy for 
such a note. See gray textbox on p. 16 for contact information. 

*" The television show Good Morning America (14 
November 2003) reported on Stephanie Haaser, a Baltimore high 
school student suspended for kissing another girl (mentioned in 
last Bulletin's N&Q). Her English teacher had assigned her "to do 
some sort of act of nonconformity," like Thoreau. Haaser stood 
atop a cafeteria table, shouted "End Homophobia!" and kissed her 
friend, Catherine. "To me it sounded like a super idea," her 
mother told TV show host Charlie Gibson, who referred to it as 
"an act of civil disobedience or nonconformity." 

^ John Daniel (b. 1948), a poet in Oregon, has published a 
new book, Winter Creek: One Writer's Natural History 
(Minneapolis: Milkweed, 2002). On p. 64 he cites Thoreau as an 
influence on his personal essays of the early 1980s. In 2000 
Daniel spent four-and-a-half months living alone in a cabin on 
Rogue River, Oregon, writing 294 penciled manuscript pages for a 
forthcoming volume, tentatively titled River of Solitude. 

■*" Thoreau turns up in a new book on the Western artist 
Remington, one that discusses his nocturnes. William C. Sharpe. 
professor of English at Barnard College, mentions Thoreau's 
walks by moonlight: his "exploration of the night leads in 
directions both aesthetic and imperial. His desire to conquer 
darkness in the name of poetry forms part of the larger nineteenth- 
century effort to colonize unknown territory." Sharpe 's essay 
appears in Nancy K. Anderson el al., Frederic Remington: The 
Color of Night (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2003). 

tr Nicholas A. Bisbanes's A Splendor of Letters: The 
Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World (Harper, 2003) 
includes material about the author's own rare-book buying 
experiences. One pages 180-181 is an anecdote about poking 
through old art-auction catalogs at a Worcester Art Museum tag 
sale, where his wife found a box "marked $5 for the contents" in 
which was "a bundle of old magazines tied together by twine." 
She "promptly plucked from what very well might have been part 


Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

of that evening's trash deposit a dozen issues of Dial, an important 
nineteenth-century literary quarterly of considerable scarcity that 
boasts numerous first appearance essays of Emerson, Henry David 
Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller, the founding editor." In the 
October 1 840 issue Basbanes found an Emerson article 
("Thoughts on Modern Literature") that 
seemed "eerily pertinent" to Basbanes's 
topic of research, the durability of books, 
"textual and otherwise." 

"" Visit 
hual5002frames.html to see facsimile 
pages of the Harvard University Class of 
1837 class book. A newspaper clipping in 
the class book announcing Thoreau's 
death mentions "His age was about 35" — 
apparently a misprint for "45," but in any 
case an error. 

cg= A two-page typed and written 
letter dated 1893 from Franklin B. 
Sanborn to his son was sold on 19 
February 2004 for US$154.28. The seller 
described it as a chatty letter discussing 
Concord and "the small circle of Concord 
authors," the "last of the Alcott girls['] 
death," and mentioning "that only Mr. 
Channing remains and lives with 

®° The past quarter's e-Bay offerings 
relating (sometimes very tenuously) to 
Thoreau included the following: Kenneth 
Cole NEW Thoreau brown suede boot, 

size 9 US, sold on 13 March 2004 and was bidding at US$15.50 
the day before. NIB Kohler Self-Rimming 24" x 18" Skylight 
Thoreau Sink opened for bidding at US$99 in mid-March 2004. 
Gordon Press's 1976 reprint of the Bibliophile Society edition of 
Thoreau's Sir Walter Raleigh, edited by Henry Aiken Metcalf, 
opened for bidding at US$9.95 on 5 March 2004 but had received 
no bids by the end date of 12 March. An 1876 Waiden with worn 
spine ends sold for US$99. An 1875 Maine Woods with the spine 
taped and in poor condition sold for US$43. An 1865 Cape Cod 
(first edition) with a stained cover sold for US$187.77. An 
uncommon 1949 reprint of the fourteen-volume 1906 Journal sold 
for US$266.01. A 1907 Bibliophile Society Unpublished Letters 
of Bryant and Thoreau, one of 470 copies, sold for US$60. 
Samuel A. Jones's Thoreau, A Glimpse (Concord, Mass.: Erudite 
Press, 1903) sold for US$92.57. Thoreau's Essays and Other 
Writings, edited by Dircks (London: Walter Scott Ltd., n.d. [ca. 
1901]), sold for US$24.46. Twelve different issues, with some 
duplicates, of the Thoreau Newsletter, written and edited by 
Raymond Adams from 1936 to 1940, sold for $129.07. Also 
included were three magazines from the same period with articles, 
by Adams on Thoreau and Southern religious liberalism. (The 
seller told Jim Dawson that he found these items — the whole cache 
totaling seven pounds of paper — in a North Carolina dumpster!) 
Finally, and most ridiculously, a "Miniture [sic] Dollhouse Cabin 
Custom Thoreau Style" opened for bidding at US$19.95 on 22 
April 2004. As of 23 March one person had bid on it at that price. 
"This is a handmade Henry Thoreau Like miniture [sic] house 
built by hand. It has a front porch and shows excellent detail on 
the exterior. Everything was handmade. Nothing was pre-bought. 

This is Piper Brunhuber, daughter of Barb, 

Staff Assistant at the Society's Membership 

Office at Penn State Altoona, modeling the 

most popular infant gift at the Thoreau 

Society's Shop at Waiden Pond. 

Bricks have real texture and were hand painted one by one. 
Asphault [sic] shingles, block foundation, balsa wood deck. Door 
is hinged. The interior was done to show the method by which the 
interior was designed [sic]. Overall size is 12 inches deep, 1 1 
inches high, and 8 inches wide. This would be excellent for 

displaying or used as a child's playhouse 
for toys." 

*" From an obituary for author Paul 
Gruchow in the 25 February 2004 issue of 
the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Friend and 
writer Bill Holm, of Minneota, Minn., 
praised Gruchow as 'the Thoreauavian 
conscience of his generation.' " 

f "Emma Goldman," a 90-minute 
documentary written, produced, and 
directed by Mel Bucklin, and scheduled to 
air on PBS Monday, 12 April 2002, as part 
of the "American Experience" series, 
reports that when Goldman was first 
imprisoned, she "[used] her time to 
educate herself, reading Emerson, 
Thoreau, and Whitman." 

» On 9 April 2004 Villanova 
University professor of art history Mark 
Sullivan delivered a paper titled " 'Man of 
a Thousand Faces': Henry David Thoreau 
in Recent American Portraiture" at the 
American Culture Association's annual 
conference in San Antonio. Last year, he 
delivered a paper at the same group's 
annual meeting in New Orleans on N. C. 
Wyeth and his portraits of Henry David Thoreau. 

■*" Does anyone know the original source of the canard of 
which the following is one version: "When Thoreau was placed in 
prison for refusing to pay taxes, he was visited by Ralph Waldo 
Emerson and Emerson said, 'David, what are you doing in jail?' 
and Thoreau replied, 'Ralph, what are you doing outside, when 
honest people are in jail for their ideals?' " Please reply to Chris 
Dodge ( 

<*" Thoreau, in his journal entry of 16 January 1852, writes a 
long paragraph on Bill Wheeler, a local ne'er-do-well who had 
recently died; and Emerson, in a journal of December 1841, wrote 
about "the keeping of a secret too great to be confided to one 
man[ — ]that a divine man dwelt near me in a hollow tree." Tim 
French ( is looking into the possibility that 
Bill Wheeler may at one time have lived in a hollow tree and 
would like to hear from anyone who may have any thoughts on the 

®° Akira Yamaguchi's Japanese translation of Walter 
Harding's The Days of Henry Thoreau will soon see print. 
Yamaguchi plans to translate A Week, which would be the first 
Japanese translation of that book. 

^ The February 2004 issue of Ladies Home Journal (p. 1 10) 
features an interview with television personality and reporter 
Diane Sawyer. In high school she was a nerd, she says, and 
"Three of us, we were Unitarian, Jewish, and Methodist — me — 
and we used to get together and read Thoreau and Emerson, and 
we'd sit by this squalid creek every day at lunch and imagine 
ourselves as philosophers — we called ourselves the new 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 


*" "If you want inner peace find it in solitude, not speed, and 
if you would find yourself, look to the land from which you came 
and to which you go." This quotation has repeatedly been 
ascribed to Thoreau, particularly on the Web, but is acmally by 
former U.S. Congressman Stewart Udall. 

«" John Buell's Closing the Book on Homework (Temple UP, 
2004) ends with these paragraphs: 

My hope is that education might nurture democratic 
citizenship. The democratic citizen must cooperate with 
others in crafting the common standards and social 
supports on which all civilized life depends. But 
democracy also entails a commitment to individuality, to 
resistance even to widely shared norms whose cost in the 
loss of free space is greater than any social benefits. It 
entails a willingness to constantly tweak and explore this 

Thoreau was such a citizen, and his experience is 
instructive. We owe Thoreau's great classics not only to 
the hours he devoted to acquiring a classical education 
but also to his willingness to spend — indeed to demand — 
time and space for totally unstructured wanderings 
through and contemplation of the minutiae of nature. It 
may not be accidental that a citizen who had experienced 
the constantly renegotiated moments of freedom in his 
own life was willing to engage in civil disobedience, the 
ultimate in democratic political practice, to secure these 
values for others. 
■»■ A recent re-run of an episode from the old television show 
The Waltons titled "The House," which originally aired 19 
February 1 976, has the character John-Boy quoting from "Civil 
Disobedience": "If I have unjustly wrested a plank from a 
drowning man, I must restore it to him though I drown myself." 
"3° The e-zine Concord Magazine (http://www.concordma. 
com) is back after a six-month sabbatical and in the current 
(Spring 2004) issue features, among other pieces, "George 
Bradford Bartlett" by Leslie Perrin Wilson ("This 19th century 
unofficial host of Concord, young people's author, and theatrical 
producer is little-known today"), "How Did Concord Get its 
Name?" by Paul Drexler ("We know how Concord made its name 
in our country's history, but where does the name itself come 
from?"), "Hawthorne's 'Vegetable Progeny' at the Old Manse" by 
Laurie Butters ("Given as a wedding present and planted by Henry 
Thoreau, this vegetable garden became a great preoccupation"), 
"Thoreau is Still at Walden" by Corinne H. Smith (on Richard 
Smith's "living history" portrayals of Thoreau), and "Walden 
Pond: A History" by Richard Smith (appreciative review of W. 
Barksdale Maynard's recent book). 

^ Les Forets du Maine, Francois Specq's French translation 
of The Maine Woods, was published very recently and will be fully 
cited in the next Bulletin. Specq informs us, "Besides a fully 
annotated translation of the entire text of The Maine Woods, this 
volume features a long commentary on this work of Thoreau's and 
his contribution to the nature conservation movement, entitled 
'Habiter la frontiere: L'humanisme sauvage d' Henry D. Thoreau' 
["Living a Border Life: Henry D. Thoreau's Wild Humanism"] 
(pp. 365-520)." 

®° From Christopher Orlet's "The Gymnasiums of the Mind," 
an article about the connection between philosophy and walking, 
in the January/February 2004 issue of the British magazine 
Philosophy Now. "In his brief life Henry David Thoreau walked an 

estimated 250,000 miles, or ten times the circumference of the 
earth. T think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits,' wrote 
Thoreau, 'unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is 
commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and 
over the hills and fields absolutely free from worldly 
engagements.' Thoreau's landlord and mentor Ralph Waldo 
Emerson characterized walking as 'gymnastics for the mind.' ' 
Chris Dodge wondered what Orlet's source for "250,000 miles" 
might have been and did some math. "Thoreau lived two months 
and six days short of 45 years," Dodge writes. "Without 
accounting for leap years, I figure he lived close to 365 days x 45, 
minus 67 — 16,358 days give or take a few — probably about 1 1 
more than that. Let's say 16,369 days. To have walked 250,000 
miles would mean that he averaged over 15 l A miles of walking a 
day from the time he left the womb." Orlet again: " 'When we 
walk, we naturally go to the field and the woods,' said Thoreau. 
'What would become of us, if we only walked in a garden or a 
mall?' I supposed I am what becomes of us, Henry." 

®° Thoreau- in- Vermont is "a co-ed, inter-racial summer 
camp" that is "located on a lovely wooded, 380 acre site, on the 
shore of a 64 acre lake in Thetford Center, Vermont" (http:// 

*" Jonah Raskin's American Scream: Allen Ginsberg's 
"Howl" and the Making of the Beat Generation (U California P, 
2004) states that Ginsberg saw "Kerouac as the successor to 
Melville and himself as the successor to Whitman. Later he would 
see Gary Snyder as the successor to Henry David Thoreau." 

2004 Annual Gathering 

Walden: Of Its Time, For Our Time, 

A Sesquicentennial Celebration 

8-1 1 July 2004 

Concord, Massachusetts 

Program details, registration materials, and so on 
accompanied this Bulletin. 

The Annual Gathering Committee needs volunteers to assist 

with the Gathering. They'll need help with registration, 

setting up meeting rooms, hospitality, and a variety of other 

tasks. If you can volunteer some time, please contact Jayne 

Gordon at (978) 369-53 19 or email 

Additions to the Thoreau 

Robert N. Hudspeth 

Bartlett, Brian. " 'The Land Tugging at the Sea': Elizabeth 
Bishop's Coasts and Shores." In Divisions of the Heart: 
Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Memory and Place. Ed. 
Sandra Barry et al. Wolfville, Nova Scotia: Gaspereau, 2001. 
Pp. 91-1Q2. Traces the parallels between Bishop's "The Lnd 
of March" and Thoreau's ( 'ape Cod. 


Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

Brooker, Ira. "Giving the Game Away: Thoreau's Intellectual 

Imperialism and the Marketing of Walden Pond." Midwestern 

Quarterly 45, No. 2 (Winter 2004): 137-154. 
Burdeau, Cain. "Walden Pond Peaceful Still in Times of Quiet 

Desperation." Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 July 2003. 
. "A Walk in the Woods: You Can Follow the Footsteps of 

Thoreau on Visit to Walden Pond." Attleboro [Mass.] Sun 

Chronicle, 5-6 July 2003. 
Carey, Art. "A Thoreau Back-to-Nature Design." Philadelphia 

Inquirer, 1 November 2002. On building a modern version of 

the famous house. 
Centini, Massimo. "II maestro: H. D. Thoreau." In La Wilderness. 

La nalura selvaggia e I'uoino. Milan: Xenia Edizioni, 2003. 

Pp. 62-74. 

Please submit items for the Summer 
Bulletin to your editor before 

15 July 2004 

Dault, Julia. "Doing Business with Nature." National Post 
[Canada], 18 March 2004. On the photographer Thaddeus 
Holownia, who photographed Walden Pond and its 

Davis, Millard C. "Dragonfly Days at Trailwood: Remembering 
Edwin W. and Nellie Teale." Concord Saunterer N.S. 1 1 
(2003): 175-209. 

Dean, Bradley P. "Thoreau Letter Discovered in Library Book." 
Thoreau Society Bulletin No. 246 (Winter 2004): 1-3. 
Discovery of a letter from Thoreau to Thaddeus Harris, 27 
December 1850. 

Gougeon, Len. "Emerson, Thoreau, and Antislavery." In A House 
Divided: The Antebellum Slavery Debates in America, 1776- 
1865. Ed. Mason I. Lowance, Jr. Princeton: Princeton 
University Press, 2003. Pp. 203-15. 

Hoagland, Edward. "About H. D. Thoreau." In Hoagland on 
Nature: Essays. Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press, 2003. 
Pp. 457^65. 

Hodder, Alan D. Thoreau s Ecstatic Witness. Reviewed by 
Wesley T. Mott in Religion and the Arts 6 (Fourth Quarter 
2002): 521-523. 

Hudspeth, Robert N. "Dear Friend: Letter Writing in Concord." 
Concord Saunterer n.s. 11 (2003): 77-91. 

Hyde, Lewis. "Thoreau Solutions." Thoreau Society Bulletin No. 
246 (Winter 2004): 3-5. Answers to a series of annotation 
queries printed in Bulletin No. 240, pp. 3^4. 

Maynard, W. Barksdale. Walden Pond: A History. Reviewed by 
Edward J. Renehan, Jr. in January Magazine, March 2004 
(on-line review). "Contemplates the 62 acre kettle-hole in all 
its guises. Here we have Walden as literary Mecca, 
environmental landmark and cause celebre. Here we also 
have the pond as litter-strewn bathing beach, political 
volleyball and object of parochial infighting." Reviewed by 
Diana Muir in the Boston Globe, 14 March 2004 (with a 
correction published on 18 March); by Susan Salter Reynolds 
in the Los Angeles Times, 14 March 2004. 

Merchant, Carolyn. "Shades of Darkness: Race and 

Environmental History." Environmental History 8, No. 3 

(2003): 380-394. 
Moore, Gene. "Following Thoreau's Watery Trail Across Maine 

Lakes." Attleboro [Mass.] Sun Chronicle, 17 November 2003. 
Newman, Lance. " 'Patron of the World': Henry Thoreau as 

Wordsworthian Poet." Concord Saunterer n.s. 1 1 (2004): 

"Obituary: John J. McAleer." Thoreau Society Bulletin No. 246 

(Winter 2004): 9. 
Okerstrom, Dennis Raymond. "Wilderness, Ethics, and Violence: 

An Ecocritical Study of the Works of Henry David Thoreau, 

John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Edward Abbey." Dissertation 

Abstracts International 64, No. 3 (2003): 909-A. 
Pipkin, John S. "Glances from the Shore: Thoreau and the 

Material Landscape of Cape Cod." Journal of Cultural 

Geography 20, No. 2 (2003): 1-19. 
Robbins, Jim. "Town in Montana Wilderness Is Divided over 

Drilling Plan." New York Times, 21 March 2004, p. 10. Local 

activist invokes "civil disobedience" to stop natural gas 

St. Antoine, Arthur. "Vroom at the Top." Motor Trend (2004): 

104-1 10. An example of how consumer culture appropriates 

Thoreau in the name of the most un-Thoreauvian activity. 

Opens and closes with Thoreau quotations to frame a 

celebration of egregious examples of piggish consumption. 
Sioli, Marco. Ed. Metropoli e natura sulle frontiere americane. 

Milan: Franco Angeli, 2003. 
Southwick, Albert B. "Massachusetts Ice Was a Big Hit in India in 

Mid- 1880s." Worcester [Mass.] Telegram and Gazette, 4 

April 2004. Story of Frederick Tudor, Boston's "Ice King," 

whom Thoreau mentions in Walden. 
Thoreau, Henry D. La disobbedienza civile [Civil Disobedience]. 

Ed. Giangiacomo Gerevini. Milan: La Vita Felice, 2002. 

123p. In Italian with English text. 
— . Resistenza al governo civile [Resistance to Civil 

Government]. Ed. Alessandro Lagana. Naples: Generoso 

Procaccini Editore, 1997. 70p. In Italian with English text. 
— . Vita senza priticipi [Life without Principle]. Ed. 

Giangiacomo Gerevini. Milan: La Vita Felice, 1996. 107p. 

In Italian with English text. 
Wetterich, Chris. "Guest Speaker Marks 150 Years of Thoreau's 

Waldenr Charleston [W. Va.] Gazette, 22 March 2004. 

Report of a lecture by Professor Jack Hussey. 
Wilkinson, Anne. "Variations on a Theme." In Heresies: The 

Complete Poems of Anne Wilkinson. Montreal: Vehicule, 

2003. Pp. 144—146. Poem quotes and uses a sentence from 

Thoreau: "A man needs only to be turned around once with 

his eyes shut in this world to be lost." 
Wilson, Leslie Perrin. "Untapped Thoreau Materials in the 

Concord Free Public Library." Thoreau Society Bulletin No. 

246 (Winter 2004): 5-7. 
Witherell, Elizabeth Hall. "A Tribute to Wendell Glick." Thoreau 

Society Bulletin No. 246 (Winter 2004): 8-9. 

We are indebted to the following individuals for information sent 
in for the Bulletin: Brian Bartlett, Ron Bosco, Clarence Burley, 
Jim Dawson, Debra Kang Dean, Chris Dodge, Steve Ells, Tim 
French, Jayne Gordon, Len Gougeon, Karen Kashian, John Kiser, 
W. Barksdale Maynard, Austin Meredith, Glenn H. Mott, Wesley 
T Mott, Stefano Paolucci, Edward J. Renehan, Jr., Mary 

Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 


Schneider, Richard Schneider, Ed Schofield, Mark Sullivan, Rick 
L. Thompson, John A. Wickham, Richard Winslow III, and Beth 
Witherell. Please keep your editor informed of items not yet added 
and new items as they appear. 


"Earth's Eye": Sesquicentennial Online Exhibition 

With the able assistance of Webmaster Bob Hall, Concord 
Free Public Library Special Collections Curator Leslie Wilson has 
made available fifty images of or relating to Walden Pond. The 
exhibition features an introductory essay by W. Barksdale 
Maynard, author of Walden Pond: A History and a frequent 
contributor of articles to this Bulletin, as well as three images each 
by William Wheeler Anderson and his mother, the late Esther 
Howe Wheeler Anderson. The remaining forty-four images 
feature items in Special Collections, almost all of which are either 
extremely rare or unique. Your editor was delighted, for instance, 
by item 33. "Plan of Walden Pond State Reservation, 1922 Dec," 
which consists of six sections, each of which can be clicked to 
view an enlargement. A canted rectangle in the left-center of the 
upper-right section shows the area that was Thoreau's bean-field 
(summer 1845). This exhibition is a must-see for Thoreauvians. 

Please Note 

Beginning with Thoreau Society Bulletin 250 
(Winter 2005) each "Announcements" and 
"Calendar of Events" listing will contain the usual 
headline but only a one-sentence description. 
More detailed, comprehensive, and timely 
descriptions of announcements and events are 
now and will continue to be available on the 
Thoreau Society Web site at http://, and the Society is 
considering an email distribution list for members 
who may wish to receive email notifications of 
Society-related announcements and events. 

Calendar of Events 

MAY 15 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 

The Seasons of Walden: "Plants and Animals of Walden" 

Bring a backpack with lunch and water, and join renowned 
naturalist and Concord resident Peter Alden for a hike from 
Walden Pond to Fairhaven Bay. Meet at the Tsongas Gallery 
adjoining the Shop at Walden Pond. Co-sponsored by the Friends 
of Walden Pond (an activity of the Thoreau Society), the 
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and 
Walden Pond State Reservation. For grades 3 and above. Fee $5 
(also $5 parking fee for each vehicle). Pre-register at (978) 369- 


Visiting Thoreau's Walden 

The Concord Museum's new exhibit explores the generations of 
other visitors for whom Walden Pond has also been home, 
workplace, playground, and sacred ground. The exhibit draws on 
the Museum's unparalleled collection of Thoreau artifacts, 
including the desk on which Thoreau wrote the first draft of 
Walden, together with rarely seen images and incomparable works 
by N. C. Wyeth and Edward Steichen, to gain a new perspective 
on the variety of these Walden visitors — ice-cutters and wood- 
choppers, poets and philosophers, children, picnickers, 
environmentalists, artists, ordinary citizens from around the world, 
and Thoreau himself. The Thoreau Society co-sponsors the 
Summer Lecture Series associated with the exhibit. 

MAY 22 3 p.m. 

The Thoreau Society in Minneapolis 

Jayne Gordon will speak at 3 p.m. on "Shots Heard 'Round the 
World," and Ronald A. Bosco will speak at 4 p.m. on "From 
Walden to the West: Thoreau's Spiritual and Savage Journeys," 
both engagements to take place at Campus Club, Coffman 
Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis East Bank 
Campus. Co-sponsored by the Minneapolis Athenaeum and the 
University of Minnesota Department of English. For information 
contact either Terry Dinovo of the Minneapolis Athenaeum at 
(612) 209-3757 or Thoreau Society member Dale Schwie at (612) 

MAY 23 2-4 p.m. 

The Thoreau Society in Minneapolis 
Ronald A. Bosco and Jayne Gordon will lead a discussion on 
"Walden at 150" at Marshall Field's Performance Hall, The Open 
Book, 1011 Washington Ave. South. Co-sponsored by the 
Minnesota Independent Scholars' Forum, the Minneapolis 
Atheneum, and Milkweed Editions. Call (612) 215-2650. 

MAY 27 7:30 p.m. 

Thoreau Community Lecture Series: Walden at 150 

Kent Curtis, Director of Education, and Jeffrey Cramer, Curator of 
Collections, Walden Woods Project, will speak on "Walden in 
Context" at the Concord Museum. Sponsored by the Concord 
Museum, the Thoreau Society, and the Walden Woods Project. 
Free and open to the public. Donations accepted. A reception 
follows the presentation. 

JUNE 9 7 p.m. 

Visiting Thoreau's Walden (Lecture 1 of 3) 

Eminent historian and author of The Mystic Chords of Memory and 
the newly-published A Time to Every Purpose: The Four Seasons 
in American Culture, Michael Kammen, speaks at the Concord 
Museum on "Henry David Thoreau and the Four Seasons in 
American Culture." Fee $7.50 ($5 for Thoreau Society 
members), reservations requested: (978) 369-9763. A reception 
follows the lecture. 

JUNE 15 7 p.m. 

Visiting Thoreau's Walden (Lecture 2 of 3) 

Clare Walker Leslie, co-author of Keeping a Nature Journal, 
winner of the 2003 John Burroughs Award, speaks at the Concord 
Museum on "Keeping a Nature Journal" and will lead audience 


Thoreau Society Bulletin, Number 247, Spring 2004 

members through simple techniques for starting and maintaining a 
nature journal. Fee $7.50 ($5 for Thoreau Society members), 
reservations requested: (978) 369-9763. A reception follows the 

JUNE 19 9 a.m.-12 noon 

The Seasons of Walden: "On This Spot" 
Through stories and hands-on activities, Christen Lekorenos will 
help participants investigate what has changed and what has not at 
Thoreau's Cove, Ice Fort Cove, and other locations around Walden 
Pond. Meet at the Tsongas Gallery adjoining the Shop at Walden 
Pond. Co-sponsored by the Friends of Walden Pond (an activity 
of the Thoreau Society), the Massachusetts Department of 
Conservation and Recreation, and Walden Pond State Reservation. 
For grades 3 and above. Fee $5 (also $5 parking fee for each 
vehicle). Pre-register at (978) 369-5310. 

feature Peter Gibian of McGill University on "The Parlor and Its 
Discontents: Transcendentalist Talk Circles and a Thoreau- 
Whitman Debate about Spoken Dialogue"; Sarah Wider of Colgate 
University on "Henry's Last Paradox: Thoreau at Home with the 
Emersons"; and Bradley P. Dean of West Peterborough, N.H., on 
"Emerson, Thoreau, and the Reverend Daniel Foster." The second 
session, chaired by Phyllis Cole of Pennsylvania State, Delaware 
County, will feature Lance Newman of California State University, 
San Marcos, on "Orestes Brownson's New Views"; Robert A. 
Gross of the University of Connecticut on "Faith in the 
Boardinghouse: New Views of Thoreau Family Religion"; Bruce 
Ronda of Colorado State University on "Myths of Memory: 
Elizabeth Peabody Visits, and Recollects, the Emersons"; and 
Price McMurray of Texas Wesleyan University on " 'An Egyptian 
Skull at Our Banquet': Hawthorne, Emerson,and the Idealist 

JUNE 22 7 p.m. 

Visiting Thoreau's Walden (Lecture 3 of 3) 

Joy Ackerman of Antioch New England Graduate School lectures 
at the Concord Museum on "The Place of Pilgrimage: Alternative 
Geographies of Walden." Fee $7.50 ($5 for Thoreau Society 
members), reservations requested: (978) 369-9763. A reception 
follows the lecture. 

JUNE 25-26 

Hawthorne at 200: A Commemorative Symposium 

"Living Legacy: A Bicentennial Celebration of the Life and 
Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne" will be sponsored by Minute 
Man National Historical Park and Partners and held at Trinitarian 
Congregational Church, Concord, Mass. For registration 
information visit 

JULY 8 6 a.m. 

Dawn-to-Dusk Reading of Walden at Walden Pond 

Reading of Walden by members and guests of the Thoreau Society. 

JULY 8-11 

Thoreau Society Annual Gathering 

Theme: "Walden: Of Its Time, For Our Time." Concord, Mass. 

See program insert mailed with this Bulletin. 

JULY 12 10a.m.-4p.m. 

Walden at Trail Wood 

Celebration of Thoreau's 187 lh birthday and Walden 's 150" v 
anniversary at the Edwin Way Teale Memorial Sanctuary at Trail 
Wood, 93 Kenyon Road, Hampton, Connecticut. There will be 
scheduled talks on Thoreau and Teale by Tom Potter, Bob Breau, 
and other Thoreau Society members, tours of the writing cabin and 
house study, and walks throughout Trail Wood lead by local 
naturalists. Register through Connecticut Audubon Center: (860) 
928-4948 or 


Modern Language Association 

Each December the Thoreau Society sponsors two sessions at the 
Modern Language Association convention. Both Society sessions 
this year will address the topic "The Emerson's Parlor and Mrs. 
Thoreau's Dinner Table: Transcendental Conversations." The first 
session, chaired by Sandy Petrulionis of Penn State Altoona, will 

Copyright © 2004 The Thoreau Society, Inc. 

The Thoreau Society Bulletin, published quarterly by the Thoreau Society, is 
indexed in American Humanities Index and MLA International Bibliography. 

Editor: Bradley P. Dean. 

Editorial Advisory Committee: Dave Bonney, Ronald A. Bosco, James 
Dawson, Jayne Gordon, Ronald Wesley Hoag, W. Barksdale Maynard, Wesley 
T. Mott, Sandra Petrulionis, Richard Schneider, Edmund A. Schofield. 

Board of Directors: Ronald A. Bosco, President: J. Walter Brain; Susie 
Carlisle; David Ganoe; Ronald W. Hoag; Robert Hudspeth; John Mack, 
Treasurer; Joel Myerson, Secretary; Sandra Petrulionis, Executive Secretary; 
Tom Porter, Assistant Clerk; Richard Schneider; Laura Dassow Walls; Joseph 
Wheeler; Barbara Wojtusik; Jennie Wollenweber. 

Staff: Jayne Gordon, Executive Director; Karen Kashian, Business Manager; 
Steven Bentley, Outreach Specialist; Jim Hayden, Shop Manager; Jon 
Fadiman, Michael Frederick, and Doug Luther, Shop Associates. 

Established in 1941, the Thoreau Society, Inc., is an international nonprofit 
organization with a mission to honor Henry David Thoreau by stimulating 
interest in and fostering education about his life, works, and philosophy and 
his place in his world and ours; by coordinating research on his life and 
writings; by acting as a repository for Thoreauviana and material relevant to 
Henry David Thoreau; and by advocating for the preservation of Thoreau 
Country. Membership in the Society includes subscriptions to its two 
publications, the Thoreau Society Bulletin (published quarterly) and The 
Concord Saunterer (published annually). Society members receive a ten- 
percent discount on all merchandise purchased from the Thoreau Society Shop 
at Walden Pond and advance notice about Society programs, including the 
Annual Gathering. 

Membership: Thoreau Society, Penn State Altoona, 129 Community Arts 
Center, Altoona, PA, 16601, U.S.A.; voice-mail: (978) 369-5359; e-mail: 

Merchandise: (including books and mail-order items): Thoreau Society Shop 
at Walden Pond. 915 Walden Street, Concord, MA 01742-4511, U.S.A.; tel: 
(978) 287-5477; fax: (978) 287-5620; e-mail:; 

Concord Saunterer: Richard Schneider, Department of English and Modern 
Languages. Wartburg College. 222 Ninth Street NW. Waverly, IA 50677, 
U.S.A.; tel: (319) 352-8435; e-mail: 

Thoreau Society Bulletin: Bradley P. Dean, P.O. Box 70, West Peterborough, 
NH 03468-0070, U.S.A.; e-mail: 

All other communications: Thoreau Society, 55 Old Bedford Road, Concord, 
MA 01742, U.S.A.; tel. (978) 369-5310; fax: (978) 369-5382; e-mail: 

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